This study aims to integrate commercial measurement and communication components into a scour monitoring system with magnets or electronics embedded in smart rocks, and evaluate and improve its performance in laboratory and field conditions for the movement of smart rocks. Properly-designed smart rocks were found to be automatically rolled into the very bottom of a scour hole and can give critical information about the maximum scour depth and effectiveness of rip-rap mitigation strategies. Four types of smart rock technologies were investigated in this proof-of-concept phase of study, including passive with embedded magnets, active with magneto-inductive communication, active with controllable magnet rotation, and active with acoustic communication. Their performances were evaluated against three criteria: 1) movement accuracy within 0.5 m, 2) transmission distance between 5 and 30 m, and 3) at least one measurement every 15 minutes. Test results demonstrated that the proposed smart rocks are cost-effective, viable technologies for bridge scour monitoring.
G. Chen et al., "Smart Rocks and Wireless Communication System for Real-Time Monitoring and Mitigation of Bridge Scour -- A Proof-of-Concept Study," Missouri University of Science and Technology, Dec 2013.
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
United States. Department of Transportation
Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
Keywords and Phrases
Smart Rocks; Wireless Communication; Scour Depth; Rip-Rap Mitigation; Magnetic Field; Magneto-inductive Coupling; Acoustic Communication
Report - Technical
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